(NECN/NBC News: Danielle Leigh, Washington) - Despite the freezing temperatures, tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C. Friday afternoon for one of the nation's largest anti-abortion demonstrations.
This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
Chad Stolly of Mercer County, Ohio road a bus overnight from Ohio with about 150 other people.
"I'm a father and I just know how precious life is," said Stolly.
Pat Murray is a Pennsylvania nurse who hasn't missed the March in 28 years since first witnessing an abortion.
"You are killing, you are taking the place off God," said Murray.
Republican leaders joined marchers for a rally on the National Mall.
"We are proud to be here with you," said former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
As marchers filled Constitution Avenue on a trek to the Supreme Court, they were greeted by counter protesters.
In the past two years, Republican legislators have passed 135 new state restrictions, but a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 70 percent of Americans support the Roe v. Wade decision
"If you make abortion illegal you are controlling a woman's body with a law and that is not something that happens in a democracy," says Jack Solano of Howard University.